Approaching the grand, imposing entrance to Lancaster House, you don't immediately sense that you're entering a pop-up restaurant, least of all one that is focused on sustainability. However, this is indeed the setting for the latest venture by eco-restaurateur Jamie Grainger-Smith. In conjunction with HRH Prince of Wales’ Start initiative, Jamie is launching a pop-up restaurant with the focus being on using sustainable ingredients to create a fine-dining experience.
What that means in practice is that for the first time in history Lancaster House is opening its doors to a dining public. Set in the stunning Grand Hall diners can indulge in a four-course set lunch, or a five-course set dinner.
So, how did Jamie become involved with Start? “Start contacted me because of the work that I’ve done with Waterhouse, Acornhouse and Fifteen” he told Hot Dinners. “That was about 3 months ago, so it’s been a really tight time-frame. That’s what I like though, a challenge”.
In addition to the formal dining experience, Jamie and his team will be serving up a selection of sustainable snacks and drinks on the terrace area for the general public. There will be biodynamic wines, organic beers and British classics such as Scotch Eggs, pork pies and potted Dorset crab. We fell in love with the feta cheese, red chilli and mint wrapped in courgette canapés. If one mouthful of food can be indicative of an entire dining experience then we're willing to bet the food is going to be pretty amazing.
So, would Jamie do it all again? “For sure I would, yeah!” he replies enthusiastically. And, if the whispers around the launch event are anything to go by, then there could well be a return project heading our way for Christmas…
The Start Sustainable Pop-Up Restaurant (and terrace area) will be open 11am – 10:30pm from Wednesday 27th to Sunday 31st July. To make a reservation visit the website.